I’ve previously covered BetterCloud, the New York based operation that provides administration functionality for Google Apps – they do some interesting things around delivering the features that enterprises need in order to use Google Appps – policy and compliance features, discovery, security analytics and the like. But I’ve always wondered about the flip side of being “all in” as an add-on partner to one single platform – it makes for a big target audience, but also increased risks in the event that the platform vendor decides to eat your lunch.

So it makes total sense that today BetterCloud is announcing an expansion of its service beyond Google Apps – BetterCloud is going to deliver enhanced IT management and security to Salesforce.com, Zendesk and “others”. The BetterCloud Flash Panel product already features broad functionality, but the company is introducing some further deatures over the next few months:

  • Third party application auditing: FlashPanel will allow IT personnel to whitelist or blacklist specific applications installed via the Google Apps Marketplace
  • Regular Expression Searches for Google Drive: IT administrators will be able to search their users’ Google Drive documents for information like credit card and social security numbers to ensure sensitive information is not shared improperly
  • Google Drive Sharing Policies by folder: Admins will have the ability to apply Google Drive sharing policies – how items are shared and with whom – by folders, greatly reducing time spent managing overall Drive security

This broad functionality is being expand to Salesforce immediately with plans for later integration with Zendesk. Interestingly the company lans to offer its service for ERP and HR vendors “in the future”.

Alongside the expansion of service, BetterCloud is announcing a new $6M funding round that it has raised from existing vendors. Earlier in the year the company moved from a free beta to a freemium model – the company isn’t saying how many of the 22000 organizations using the product are actually paying for it.

MyPOV

his makes sense – as Google tries to extend its Apps franchise further into the enterprise, it will be forced to include some of this higher level administrative functionality into the core product. In doing so, third party vendors like BetterCloud will be squeezed. Moving what it does beyond the Google Apps suite and onto other enterprise applications makes total sense – Salesforce is a logical first step for the company. I’d have said Zendesk is less of a natural fit, I would suggest a broad CRM/ERP/Office productivity admin spread would fill out most of the gaps but then again Zendesk has a broad exisitng ecosystem and hence likely has an API that makes it relatively easy for BetterCloud to integrate the product into what they do.

As more and more enterprises adopt SaaS applications, there will be a corresponding increase in the requirements for granular administrative control – while much of that space is being filled by the single sign on (SSO) vendors such as Okta and OneLogin, there is still an opportunity for more of the security and analytics functions – BetterCloud has done a good job of on-boarding customers and this extra funding, alongside extra supported application, will help them to broaden adoption further.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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